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Tom Lavin and the Legendary Powder Blues coming to Mission

Legendary Canadian group will perform on April 5 at the Clarke Theatre
Tom Lavin and The Legendary Powder Blues will perform at Mission’s Clarke Foundation Theatre on Friday, April 5 at 7 p.m. / Submitted Photo

Tom Lavin and The Legendary Powder Blues will perform at Mission’s Clarke Foundation Theatre on Friday, April 5 at 7 p.m. as part of its 46th Anniversary Tour.

For more than four decades Powder Blues has been Canada’s leading blues band. The mix of swing, blues, jazz, rock & roll and r&b has an appeal so wide that people from seven to 70 swing side by side at a Powder Blues concert.

Over the years the band has toured non-stop through Canada, the United States and overseas, spreading feel-good music that makes folks dance and shout.

To date Powder Blues have sold over a million records worldwide. Band highlights include winning Canada’s Juno Award, headlining the world-famous Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, winning the Blues Foundation Award in Memphis, Tennessee and touring the US and Europe with legends like Willie Dixon, John Lee Hooker, B.B. King, James Brown, Albert Collins, James Cotton and Stevie Ray Vaughn.

Leader, Tom Lavin has written many of the band’s best-known songs including ‘Doin’ It Right’ (‘On the Wrong Side of Town’) and ‘Boppin With the Blues’.

Born in Chicago where he worked with local bands and blues legends, Tom moved to Vancouver gigging in the downtown nightclub scene. This led to work as studio musician, song writer, band leader, record producer and film composer.

2023 is the band’s 45th Anniversary. Their more than dozen CD titles and DVD continue to sell world-wide making Tom Lavin & the Legendary Powder Blues one of Canada’s longest-standing musical ambassadors.

Tickets are available at or call 1-888-961-6111.

Q&A with Tom Lavin:

Explain the band name.

“Back when the band started I thought folks had the wrong idea about the blues – that it was sad music. But real blues guys will tell you blues is what you play when you’re down and want to feel better. I wanted to make happy blues, not dark blues. Hence the name Powder Blues – the color of the sky…”

Why did you start the Powder Blues Band?

“I had the sound of a band in my head and had already been trying, for several years, to put together a group of guys that could make the sound I heard, based on mixing rock and roll with a Chicago-style blues with horns band sound that I had heard growing up. Had there been anyone doing that already it would have been simpler to just go buy the record. But that sound wasn’t out there and I was eager to hear it, even if I had to put it together myself. “

You headlined Montreux - why stay in Vancouver when Europe clearly loves you?

“At first, our reception in Europe was somewhat mixed. The crowds all responded ecstatically but the European music journalists questioned why white guys would play the blues, notwithstanding my Chicago origins. I was at a press conference at the Montreux, Switzerland Jazz festival fielding those question when good friend and Powder Blues fan John Lee Hooker came stutteringly to the rescue adamantly informing the press corp in no uncertain terms, that we were ‘the real thing’ and that color had nothing to do with it. I think because John Lee was so respected, they listened and accepted us at face value.”

Is there one song that you just love playing to people after all these years?

“One of the best things about playing blues and playing with the incredible musicians I share the stage with is that blues, like jazz, is a form of music based on improvisation. Subsequently, each of the tunes we include in a performance has the ability to surprise us when the chemistry is just right. Bottom line – I love playing music. I’m a lucky guy. I don’t play out of economic necessity; I do it because nothing else quite turns my crank the same way.”

About the Author: Mission City Record Staff

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